Voodoo Doll by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

on graduation night
June 4th 1973
a navy cap and gown
milestone serene smile
caught on camera

I was seated between
the boy I hurt and
the boy who hurt me

it wasn’t so much a case
of voodoo curse
than an unlucky coincidence
of alphabetical order

that felt much like
two long stickpins
driven home

Wanda Morrow Clevenger
Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native. Over 365 pieces of her work appear in 131 print and electronic publications. Her debut book This Same Small Town in Each of Us released in October of 2011. She is currently polishing a full-length poetry manuscript.

Losing by Blaine Kaltman

You’re not going to win every battle you fight
Some will say that you’re wrong even when you are right.

Any man can take action, but results you can’t choose
There are times when no matter what, you’re bound to lose.

Not all heroes are winners, not all villains are weak.
Not all judges will trust in the truth that you speak

Not all bullies’ comeuppance comes up as we’d hope
Sometimes innocent parties will hang from a rope

Nonetheless, we pray. There must be a plan.
Truth and justice for all, God protects moral man.

But on days God’s not watching or seems not to care.
Best to pick battles carefully. Think twice. Beware.

Yet never stop fighting when you know you’re not wrong
Losing, not winning, teaches us to be strong.

Life is not about how hard you attack
It’s defined by our will to lose but come back

Regroup, rethink, still hold your head high
You’re not a loser for losing if you continue to try

So cast off your sadness, and dust off your shame
You might not have won, but at least you played the game

And next time around should more losses come
You’ll know that you tried, so you already won.

blaine-kaltman
Blaine Kaltman has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Queensland. He is the author of “Under the Heel of the Dragon” http://www.ohioswallow.com/author/Blaine+Kaltman and the producer, lead actor, and screenplay writer of the award winning film “Back Alley Bulls” http://influxmagazine.com/back-alley-bulls-review/. He is a Foreign Service officer with the US State Department and fluent in Mandarin Chinese. His latest artistic venture is a hard rock band named Stone Mob and a cowboy themed video to support their first single “Murder Town” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK-S9vPdpNs . But none of this has stopped Blaine from writing poems almost everyday for the past twenty years.

 

Collapse (2014) by Mathis Wilde Radke

pheromones mingle drunk in coconut oil
siphoned to the surface
a beaded boil
till the spread is
a demi glaze across the vessels
the salt licked tulips and curtains
the room, a lung, bay breeze inflated
while inhibitions let loose
traversing pasts left at the door
by the sheets rapture free and tangled
a union emerges from
an eight limb, two torso struggle
collapse in to a new dawn and sparkle

mathis-wilde-radke
Mathis Wilde Radke is a poet, photographer, and screenplay writer from the Northeast. His work has appeared in the Muddy River Review, Tangent Literary, and an anthology entitled, Men in the Company of Women. He currently works with DreamMiners Publishing and Creative Arts Services, and does freelance writing for various companies.

Forty-Second Flugelhorn by John Pursch

Memories dissolve in twelve-gauge sawed-off knuckle hand-to-fist of pleasing pompadour on rack of tumbling catch canary cannot cock a timepiece into action, fencing moral tourniquet.

Holding onto not a nary weary parried fairy tale of self or unheard victory in taut delusion liberty, public accolades devolve in airy asthma, actuaries nodding over sums of total egg contraption, frills in tuckered kernel taupe of painted gallon drip to doghouse telephone, impulsive prudent blame in bigger dreams of raw incessant timber fuel to propped papyrus wedding tools in clumpy funds receding into bayou.

Elevated bowline pause erupts in licensed stockyard cliffs, flopping onto city streets, gutters over leaning choirs of hushing bus stop tipped to idle scare of yelling shell to broken man of wartime insolence, peaceful hollow aptitude, inked insensate rodeo of looping liners, canned with filial repeat.

Homeward bound in upper room, hallway deftly empties into past of disregarded facts or truly cellular disease, surfeit into cure of staring down an elongated mine, propping forecast up among anachronistic cloudburst pines to grand piano trills in chocolate seams of caramel, pungent rent long overdue, lungs amassed by stevedores in hailstorm gall or cab line bullhorn dockyard call to forty-second flugelhorn.

John Pursch
John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. Twice nominated for Best of the Net, his work has appeared in many literary journals. His most recent book, Intunesia, is available in paperback at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/whiteskybooks. Check out his experimental lit-rap video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l33aUs7obVc. Follow his work @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Cities by Sneha Subramanian Kanta

They grow but rarely lengthwise
you cannot see between a foil.
The tale describes the contents

but a fruit color that does not
match its insides falters
— bland and restless memory.

A pale shadow stands on the edge
of a green traffic signal
– wildflowers pressed on her stomach.

A bottle of cheap perfume
sits on a shop rack, furious observer
– pregnant with a sea of changeful woes.

sneha-subramanian-kanta
Sneha Subramanian Kanta believes that all writing is a form of dissent. Her work is forthcoming in Quiddity, 7X20 mag, Dying Dahlia Review, AMP Hofstra’s digilit magazine, Serendipity, Poppy Road Review and the print anthology of Peacock Journal. Her work has been published in poetry anthologies such as Dance of the Peacock (Hidden Brook Press, Canada), Suvarnarekha (The Poetry Society of India, India) and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the prestigious GREAT scholarship, pursuing her second postgraduate degree in literature in the United Kingdom. Letters on s.sneha01@yahoo.in

Formal Dance by Daniel de Cullá

My Girl fríend is a lucky damson
And me, like a fool, in love for her
My Dandelion gets angry
When she says she does not dance with me
Getting to dance with other boy
Or another girl
Then me, dandlying on mine’s own
Attract her attention
With my St. Vitus’s dance
Alone and free, but no,  I’m not free
Nor from mine’s.
Look with me:
There’s a Star saying to me:
Stop ¡ Don’t play the fool.
Do you want to dance with me?
Then,  the Illumination arises letting go:
pollen, hands,  belly
To more giving.
The foet at mind, Me, now and here
Not all there
Giving life under the dancing Star
Active more than ever
Renewing a mind of primordial wisdom
Embracing my body her body
Twos in one¡
As a Wheel of Fireworks, light trapped in there.
A Wheel of Fireworks, yes
Singing a tale about what goes on my guts
(She moving her belly with mine’s)
Her eyes as stars of a “Yes” going on
And me contemplating the Theory of all Theories:
That her lips are the center of my laughs
Rolling the music that sounds
And its singer
Opening his mouth with a celestial sermon
A musical comedy confirming the fact
That we are all Gods
Delivering our spinal column
In a constant change of paces
Or changing the dancing partner.
Her yellow Venus hair sparkles with light
Coyote yells in my bones
There’s a million kisses at the dance floor
Light trapped in there with poems
And semierotic hypotheses of flesh and blood
Lucid undertanding in our hands
Venturing far too
With the four elements of dancing
Steadied and blotted each other out.
Seeking my alchemic body and her’s
Our blood flowing inward
dissolving in the middle of the floor
A middle where she and me bent over ourselves
Opening our mouths for a kiss
(She laughed heartily and me doving in)
We the living¡
Isn’t it beautifully?

Daniel de Cullá
Daniel de Culla (1955) is a writer, poet, and photographer. He is also a member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review.

Porn Fingers by Paul Tristram

She’s absolutely reeking of herself again
in quite a gorgeous & delicious way.
Watching Sasha Grey
lap gently at her girlfriend’s arsehole
until the creamy rippling starts.
‘He treats me too fucking gently’
she muses, beyond frustrated,
as she opens up ‘Her Favourites’
clicks on ‘Demolition Gang Bang’
and reaches into the pirate treasure chest
for the priceless ‘Turbo Tornado’
‘I’m not a fucking princess, god damn it,
I don’t need wrapping up in cotton wool
like something delicate and precious.
He’s not interested in anal?
Boy, I can fucking pick ‘em.
I’m 33 years old in a couple of months
and I’m never going to spurt at this rate.
It isn’t fair, I need a bad boy not a gentleman,
I want to be gagged with my own underwear
and shanked roughly from behind with COCK
like it’s going out of fashion, for fuck sake!
I crave carnal fucking violence
gushing out of my anvilled gash.
I want to limp and drip to the bathroom
with a stinking, slutty smirk upon my face!’

legs 2
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

Parties by Alan Catlin

Parties that begin on Fridays
and end on Sunday afternoons.
Parties that conclude only when
the mole people arise from their
watery graves to don dark glasses
against the sun. Party goers who
are not so much drunk as disembodied;
all their gray matter dissolved,
body moving by rote.  Time for
all the hung over party people
acquires a new meaning, feels as
endless and as empty as when two
black holes collide in deep space.
None of the party people speak as
they crawl about the new, too well
lighted world. How could they?
Afflicted as they are by space brain,
a form of alcohol induced dementia
characterized by dead central nerve
centers, frozen vocal chords, swollen
tongues. Oh the haze of all those
parties. The ones that cut your heart out
and replace them with vital pieces left out
and the ones where the weak are primed
by stomach pumps and the strong survive
to drink again.  Some are fascinated
by parties, others appalled, but none
were bored or said they wouldn’t come
back for more.

Alan Catlin
Alan Catlin is the poetry editor of misfitmagazine.net. His latest books of poetry are American Odyssey from Future Cycle and Last Man Standing from Lummox Press

Tripped the Light Fantastic by James D. Casey IV

A cosmic rendezvous
At the Devil’s Thumb
A real seedy bar & grill
On the south side of the Milky Way
With aliens from X Nibiru

They demanded to speak with the manager
Because their meat was undercooked
Mine was just fine
But then
Of course
I was high on space junk

The pink is better than the yellow
Good shit

The manager man
If that’s what you would call it
Arrived at our table
With pug dog eyes
Protruding from a
Thumb-like head
Speaking in clicks & whistles

My friends shot him on the spot
Killed him dead

They all laughed
I laughed along
Even though my blood
Felt like jello

They threw a chunk of gold
On the table
Tipped the waitress
With some of the good shit
And we tripped the light fantastic
Down to the next bar

Gotta love those space gangsters
They keep it interesting for sure

james-d-casey-iv
James D. Casey IV is a published author of two poetry books: ‘Metaphorically Esoteric’ & ‘Dark Days Inside the Light While Drunk on Wine.’ He is also working on his third under the title “Tin Foil Hats & Hadacol Coins” that is expected to be published in the next few months. Mr. Casey’s writings have been published in international ezines and on several websites. Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla, Realistic Poetry International, and Poetry Super Highway have him listed in their poet archives as well. You can find links to his books, social network profiles, and other projects on his website at http://louisianakingcasey.w ixsite.com/big-skull-poetry.

Coin Machine by John Grochalski

there is only one
coin machine left
in the neighborhood
which is good when you
have a ten pound sack of change
burning a hole in your pocket
and over a week’s worth
of laundry left to do
it’s at the bank on 86th
but i don’t like going there
because it’s run by amazonians
in short skirts and high heels
who sit on thrones of judgement
behind thick walls of glass
usually i beg my wife to go in
and do our fiduciary dirty work
while i stand outside the bank
like a pimp waiting to collect
i liked the bank better on 5th avenue
their coin machine had a cartoon
of some annoying freckle-faced kid
who cajoled you along
while you dumped the change
into the big silver baskets
she always reminded you
to check the coin slot for any missing change
i ounce found a peso that way
come to think of it
i usually had my wife stand in line
to collect the change for us there too
while i milled about the entrance
trying to steal free pens and lollipops
from under the glare of the rent-a-cop
i don’t know why i am the way i am
about these coin machines
everyone has something that
makes them feel bass and low
things like meatloaf for dinner
or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
check cashing joints or pro-wrestling
mine is turning change into dollars
at the coin machine
if i were a psychiatrist maybe
i’d link this to sitting at home with my folks
rolling all of our loose change
into those coin holders and then
spending the cash money for groceries
or putting it in the bank for bills
because for years we didn’t have a pot to piss in
maybe i just don’t like the glare
of the amazonians behind thick glass
because this one time i went
and did the coin machine without my wife
and when i came to the teller to collect
the amazonian gave me the money
in all small bills like i had a bookie to pay off
or was jonesing for a pint of something
and i wanted to tell her, mam,
you got this all wrong
i need this money for laundry
not gambling and booze
i wanted to tell her, look,
i’ve got a master’s degree and a pension
i’ve seen london and france
and have vomited a stone’s throw
from priceless picassos in madrid
but i didn’t say anything to her
instead i took the money and left
like i was fleeing the scene of a bank robbery
got outside and put some of the money
in my wallet aside for groceries
and the rest of it i took next door
to the liquor store
where i bought a magnum bottle
of red chillean wine
because forty seven instant dollars
is nothing to sneeze at
and sometimes, though i hate to admit it
people are spot on
when they see you coming
and they reserve the right to judge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.